Sunday, July 23, 2006

"Lazzari's Sports Roundup" ---- 07-29-06

New York Jets coach Eric Mangini recently told the New York Post that his favorite meal is New York strip steak and twice-baked potatoes. Wanna bet that, if asked the same question last year while with the Patriots, Mangini would have said New England clam chowder and Boston Creme Pie?..........TRIVIA QUESTION: Pitcher Scott Kazmir holds the Tampa Bay Devil Rays club record for most strikeouts in a season--fanning 174 batters in 2005. What pitcher held the mark before Kazmir surpassed it? Answer to follow..........Question: If pop singer Pink married former major league pitcher Jim Panther, could she then be referred to as Pink Panther?..........Gotta give credit when I hear an "ex-jock" do a great job in the broadcast booth--only because it happens so rarely. I applaud the work of former world-ranked tennis player Jim Courier--who worked the RCA Championships in Indianapolis on NBC last weekend. Suffice it to say that the man knows the game; what makes him stand out is his clear, well-spoken, timely delivery of insight--something lacking from the majority of the members of the "jockocracy." Great work, Jim..........University of Miami football player Brandon Meriweather recently pulled a gun from his pocket and fired three shots at a man who had earlier shot his roommate. Geez, naive yours truly: all this time I had thought that the typical Miami football player carried a pencil, pen, and pocket dictionary on him--NOT a firearm..........Did you know that, in 1991, outfielder Rob Deer of the Detroit Tigers hit just .179--but actually played REGULARLY? Deer accumulated just 80 hits in 448 at-bats that year--while striking out a whopping 175 times in 134 games.....
.....Answer to trivia question: TONY SAUNDERS--who struck out 172 batters in 1998 for the Rays' last-place club..........This week in sports history, July 30, 1989: Cuban Javier Sotomayor becomes the first high jumper ever to clear 8 feet--breaking his own record at the Caribbean Championships held in Puerto Rico. Sotomayor, who had jumped 7 feet 11 1/2 inches the year before in Spain, cleared 8 feet on his second attempt; his amazing jump came 33 years after American Charley Dumas had become the first jumper to clear 7 feet..........Mike Tyson will work as a commentator for HBO on August 12th--when heavyweight champ Hasim Rahman takes on Oleg Maskaev. If the people at HBO have a collective sense of humor, they'll provide "Iron Mike" with a headset that is missing one of the earpieces..........It's been reported that several Auburn football players tried to raise their GPA's in 2004 by enrolling in simple courses where attendance was optional. Geez, naive yours truly--once again: I thought they'd attempt to raise their grades by working hard, completing extra credit assignments, and actually mastering the academic material required of non-football-playing students......
......Happy belated birthday wishes go out to former big league infielder Rich Dauer--who blew out 54 candles this past Thursday, July 27th. A native of San Bernardino, California, Dauer played ten seasons--all with Baltimore--from 1976-1985; he hit .257 lifetime. A superb second baseman defensively, he played a staggering 86 straight games in 1978 without making an error. Dauer hit a home run in the 1979 World Series vs. Pittsburgh and was a valued member of the O's 1983 world championship team. Best wishes, Rich......
......Finally, condolences go out to the family of Dr. James Nicholas--who died recently of colon cancer in Scarsdale, NY, at the age of 85. Nicholas was the team doctor for the Jets, Rangers, and Yankees during the '60s and '70s; he performed four knee operations on the great Joe Namath--the athlete with whom he was most familiar. The Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma (in Manhattan)--the world's first hospital-based center dedicated to sports injuries--was named after this true pioneer. Rest in peace, "Doc."

Bob Lazzari

Reprinted by permission of the Valley Times.


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